Drug War Chronicle #604 - October 16, 2009

1. Feature: In Act of Civil Disobedience, Hemp Farmers Plant Hemp Seeds at DEA Headquarters

The hemp industry is growing weary of waiting for the right to grow hemp in this country. It has filed lawsuits, it has a bill in Congress, and it is asking the Obama administration to treat hemp the same way it treats medical marijuana. But nothing is happening, so now, the movement is turning up the heat with civil disobedience.

2. Feature: Maine Medical Marijuana Dispensary Initiative Ahead in November Election Campaign

Maine is poised to become the next medical marijuana state to adopt a dispensary system with a measure on the ballot in next month's elections. Despite opposition, including from some unexpected quarters, the initiative appears set to pass handily.

3. Latin America: Mexico Drug War Update

Ciudad Juarez continues to earn the title of Mexico's drug war murder capital, but there was plenty of prohibition-fueled killing to go around this past week.

4. Feedback: Do You Read Drug War Chronicle?

Do you read Drug War Chronicle? If so, we need your feedback to evaluate our work and make the case for Drug War Chronicle to funders. We need donations too.

5. Sentencing: Sen. Durbin Introduces Bill to Eliminate Crack/Powder Cocaine Disparity

Is this the year we finally see an end to the infamous crack/powder cocaine sentencing disparity? A bill to do just that has passed the House Judiciary Committee, and now, Sen. Dick Durbin and nine cosponsors have introduced companion legislation in the Senate.

6. Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A sheriff shaking down motorists under the guise of asset forfeiture gets a slap on the wrist, and so does a narc who stole the cash from a drug raid. A drug investigation nets two New Jersey cops -- among others -- and another Florida deputy goes down for extorting a pot grower. And sometimes, a cop may not be as corrupt as she first seems.

7. Marijuana: Massachusetts Legalization Bill Gets Hearing

On Wednesday, a Massachusetts bill that would legalize marijuana got a hearing before the legislature's Joint Revenue Committee. That's a start.

8. Medical Marijuana: Wisconsin Bill to Be Filed

Medical marijuana patients and supporters in Wisconsin have been pushing for action in the legislature this year. Now, a bill is set to be introduced.

9. Australia: Western Australia Premier Vows to Roll Back Marijuana Reforms, Reenergize Drug War

The forces of reaction are on the move in Perth. Claiming a mandate from a year-old election, Western Australia Premier Colin Barnett wants to turn back the clock on marijuana law reform, and he's got some more ugly surprises in store, too.

10. New Zealand: New Anti-Meth Measures Set to Go Into Effect -- Tough Luck, Flu Sufferers

Faced with high levels of methamphetamine use, the New Zealand government is moving to require prescriptions for cold and flu medications containing pseudoephedrine, and just in time for the swine flu. It's got some other anti-meth measures coming, too.

11. Africa: Liberia Institutes Draconian New Drug Sentences

West Africa has become an important transshipment point for cocaine headed from South America to Europe. They also grow a lot of marijuana there. Now, the Liberian government wants to crack down, and it's reading from the old US drug war playbook.

12. Weekly: This Week in History

Events and quotes of note from this week's drug policy events of years past.

13. Announcement: The 2009 International Drug Policy Reform Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico, November 12-14

Every two years drug policy reformers from across the United States and around the world come to the International Drug Policy Reform Conference to listen, learn, network and strategize together for change. This year the conference is in Albuquerque, in November, and StoptheDrugWar.org is a partner.

14. Students: Intern at StoptheDrugWar.org (DRCNet) and Help Stop the Drug War!

Apply for an internship at DRCNet and you could spend a semester fighting the good fight!

15. Weekly: Blogging @ the Speakeasy

"Why Does PayPal Have a Problem With Medical Marijuana?," "Awesome: Protesters Plant Hemp at DEA Headquarters, Get Arrested," "What's the Actual Value of a Marijuana Plant?" "Where NOT to Hide Your Stash," "Oakland Cannabis Tax on Lehrer News Hour Last Night," "Senators Sponsor Bill to Lower Crack Cocaine Penalties," "Busy Night on the Medical Marijuana Front."
Permission to Reprint: This issue of Drug War Chronicle is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Articles of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.

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